Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz (Keynote)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA
At the NIH, the Lippincott-Schwartz group created a photoactivatable form of green fluorescent protein (GFP). This led to a collaboration with Eric Betzig and Harald Hess, who used the protein to generate photoactivatable fluorophores, which enabled them to illuminate different sets of molecules sequentially. Using super-resolution microscopy and other fluorescence imaging techniques, the group probed subcellular processes, such as lipid droplet formation and organelle dynamics, for nearly three decades. In 2016, Jennifer moved to Janelia, where she studies neurobiology on a cellular level, looking into processes such as organelle trafficking and metabolism, to better understand how nerve cells communicate and behave in normal and diseased brain function.
Jie Xiao (SHAMROK Keynote, EPSRC sponsored)
Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University
My laboratory focuses on developing novel single-molecule imaging tools in live cells to probe various dynamic aspects of cellular processes. We developed single-molecule gene expression reporting systems and chromosomal DNA conformation markers to probe the dynamics of gene regulation and transcription in live bacterial cells. We also pioneered the use of superresolution imaging to probe the structure, function and dynamics of the bacterial cell division machinery. Our work is at the frontier of imaging dynamic cellular processes, and has enabled new quantitative understandings of gene regulation and cell division. Recently we expanded our horizons by collaborating with experts of different fields to map the spatial organization of a single cell’s genome and epigenetic markers, and to develop new single-molecule based technologies for sensitive early detection of cancer markers in blood samples.
School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St Andrews
Kishan Dholakia heads the Optical Manipulation Group who work on a wide range of topics based on light including advanced imaging for neuroscience and cancer diagnosis, beam shaping and optical manipulation. He has published over 275 refereed journal papers, with many in Nature/Science journals and has a h-index of 73. His work has led to a citation in the Guinness book of Records for the world’s fastest man-made rotation. He is passionate about science outreach and has won several awards in this area. He was elected to the position of Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007 and is fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE. He won the European Optics Prize in 2003 and in 2008 he received a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award. He is the 2016 recipient of the R.W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society.
The Francis Crick Institute, London
Peter Rosenthal studied physics at Harvard College and then obtained a PhD in the Harvard biophysics programme working on X-ray crystallography of influenza virus surface glycoproteins. He moved to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge to work on the development of experimental and computational methods for high-resolution structure determination by single particle electron microscopy without crystals. In 2005, he became a Programme Leader in the Division of Physical Biochemistry at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill, London. In 2015, his laboratory joined the Francis Crick Institute in London. His research applies electron microscopy to the study of biological structure from the molecular to the cellular scale including the structural analysis of lipid-enveloped viruses.
School of Physics, University of Bristol
Mervyn Miles and his research group have invented techniques in scanning probe microscopy (SPM) for over 20 years, particularly atomic force microscopy (AFM) for studying nanoscale structures and processes in soft matter and biology. These have included high-speed atomic force microscopy (AFM) by two different routes: a high-speed version of conventional AFM and non-contact vertically-oriented-probe force microscopy. Recent developments have included the removal of the constraint of scanning in a plane, by scanning a nanorod AFM probe around a 3D sample with dynamic holographic optical traps. The cantilever technologies developed in the group have also led to new cantilever biosensors.
The Francis Crick Institute, London
Lucy is Head of the Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform at the Francis Crick Institute in London. She has a research background in microbiology and cell biology, and previously ran biological EM facilities at UCL and Cancer Research UK. The EM STP works with Crick research groups across a range of biological questions, imaging samples from macromolecules to whole organisms. Her technology development interests include 3D EM, correlative imaging, X-ray microscopy and automated image analysis.
Laboratoire de Reproduction et Développement des Plantes, Lyon
After a PhD (with V. Pautot, INRA Versailles, France) on the role of KNOX homeobox genes in plant development and a postdoc on meiotic progression in maize (with Z. Cande, UC Berkeley, USA) Olivier Hamant now holds a group leader position at the Plant Reproduction and Development lab (ENS Lyon, France), where he works on the role of mechanical signals in plant morphogenesis, bridging molecular and cellular biology with modeling and biophysics. He received a number of awards, including the “laurier jeune chercheur” from INRA, and he currently holds an ERC grant to study the role of mechanotransduction in plant development.
Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Siobhan obtained her BSc Honors in Plant Biology from the University of Guelph, Canada, and her Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of California at Davis, USA with John Harada. She began researching plant mechanics during her NSF-funded post-doc in the lab of Cris Kulemeier in Bern, Switzerland. Siobhan moved to Cambridge in January 2013 to set-up The Plant Mechanics Group at The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge. She likes anything to do with shapes in plants, from sunflower patterning to pavement cells.
University of Washington, Seattle
Julien is interested in studying the structure and dynamics of protein nano-machines, using cryo-Electron Microscopy combined with other structural and biophysical methods. After a PhD in Biophysics at King’s College London, he spent a few years in Vancouver (Canada) to study the type III secretion system, a large syringe-shaped macromolecular complex. He then moved to the University of Washington, in Seattle, where he has been characterizing the bacterial Magnetosome, an organelle involved in magnetic field sensing. Julien will be moving to the University of Sheffield in the Summer of 2017, to establish his research group here.